The Iron Claw is a movie that wrestling fans and people who have never been interested in wrestling will like. It is a drama through and through and will have most people shedding a tear at some point during the 130 minutes.
Based on the Von Erich family’s true story, the film The Iron Claw tells the story of the Von Erich family. The film’s protagonist, Kevin Von Erich, is portrayed by Zac Efron. The audience looks at the life of Kevin. We observe his relationship with his father Fritz, and the rest of the family. How his family’s struggles and shortcomings affect him. Kevin and his brothers are close, working together on everything and supporting one another when necessary. Kevin goes above and above on numerous occasions to look out for and shield his siblings.
All of the Von Erichs had excellent casting, with Jeremy Allen White as Kerry Von Erich in particular. Kerry is perfectly captured by him, both in appearance and demeanor. The Von Erich castings were perfect, except for their size. It is challenging to hire similarly-looking yet capable actors. Except for Zac Efron, who appears too huge for his role, everyone else looks too small. In certain scenarios, it is a really apparent thing.
The movie is all about the traumatic life of the Von Erich family. It details the various devasting moments in the Von Erich family. The movie will hit the viewer hard, especially if they have ever lost a loved one. The fact that this family went through hardship many times is the most heartbreaking part of the movie.
Director Sean Durkin takes some liberties with the true story of the Von Erichs. To the point of rearranging traumatic events and how they happened. In the movie, David Von Erich’s death comes shortly after Kevin’s wedding to Pam, but in reality, Kevin and Pam marry in 1980, and David dies in 1984. The last 30 minutes of the movie show this the most. It portrays Kevin waking up to Fritz and his actions. In the same scene, it contains Kerry winning the WWF Intercontinental championship. Kerry wins the belt in 1990, but the scene takes place in 1989 as it is before Kevin sells WCCW to Jerry Jarrett, another wrestling promoter, but in reality, it was Fritz who sold the company to Jarrett in 1989. The ending scene of Kevin with his two boys, Marshall and Ross, depicts Pam as being pregnant with another kid, but in reality, Ross was the last child of Kevin and Pam in 1992.
In the movie, Fritz gets off too easy. Fritz is shown as a complicated individual who is not quite as horrible as he was in real life. We observe the boys’ ranking system and how it is subject to change, as well as his apparent disregard for the boys when Kevin finds Kerry dead despite having warned Fritz about it. The movie shows a strained relationship between Fritz and Kevin, but it does not include the most straining event between Fritz and Kevin, when Fritz tells Kevin, “You would kill yourself too if you had the guts.”
To make money, Fritz would create multiple “brothers” of the Von Erichs. In an attempt to hook an audience, Fritz would plan an entire spectacle around Mike’s comeback to the ring. To get more people to attend WCCW events, Fritz would fabricate a heart attack in 1987. If more people came out he would be doing better; if fewer people showed up, he would be getting worse.
Sean Durkin talks about leaving Chris Von Erich out of the movie, citing time constraints. Instead, Chris with Mike to make an amalgamation of the brothers. Chris’s story is arguably the saddest from a pure person’s perspective. He grew up idolizing his brothers and wanting to carry on the Von Erich name in the ring.
However, Chris would not be physically capable of doing it, having asthma, which led to taking a medication that caused him to suffer from brittle bones and underdevelopment, only growing to 5’4, nearly a foot smaller than all of his brothers. Chris continued to try despite this, but he would soon give up after breaking multiple bones from simply falling on the ground. At the age of 21, Chris committed suicide, taking the lead from Mike, his closest sibling. This omission was fine until Chris was absent when Kerry reunited with all of his brothers—including Jack Jr.
Overall this is a good movie, my complaints about the movie are relatively minor, considering it’s a 2-hour-long movie, and a lot of my complaints would be fixed if there were more time, but it’s not realistic to make a 9-hour movie.